I am absolutely in love with this image which Deplorable Patriot brought to our attention in yesterday’s daily post:

Cover image: The Apotheosis of Washington, fresco, Constantino Brumidi (1805–1880), USCapitol (in the rotunda dome)

In this scene armored Freedom, sword raised and cape flying, with a helmet and shield reminiscent of those on the Statue of Freedom, tramples Tyranny and Kingly Power; she is assisted by a fierce eagle carrying arrows and a thunderbolt.

I thought it looked even cooler when the Wolf Moon Logo was attached to the center of the image at the top of the page:

Or better still, close-up!

YES! Right on Freedom’s swinging arm!

You will notice that the TAG LINE is a little less “Q” and a little more “us”, thanks to a great suggestion from Zorro, when I made that comment.

Although you will note one small edit from the ACTUAL original comment.

I originally said “Let us see the rest of our lives as love-letters to future historians, and leave TRUTH behind.”

I changed it to “Let us live the rest of our lives as love-letters to future historians, and leave TRUTH behind.”

NOT “leave it behind” as in abandon it. I mean EMBRACE THE TRUTH. And then leave it behind for others, as a GIFT to posterity.

Obviously, the change from see to live is the result of a transformation of the original statement with a function, that function being the maxim ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

And while speaking is an action – and a very important one – protected by the First Amendment – the ACTION of ACTUALLY speaking is much louder than the THOUGHT of MAYBE speaking.

Just keep that in mind.

What I want to ACTUALLY say to you all today, is a bit of a fireside chat about where I am going. Some of you may choose to go with me. Others may not. I will NEVER force anybody to go with me, anywhere. This is a VOLUNTEER army. I don’t believe in the draft – in conscription – and I never have, and never will.

But there is something else I will never do.

I will never abandon Donald J. Trump.

Never. Ever. Never, ever. No way, no how, uh-uh. Not going to happen.

Whatever Trump decides to do, I will commit firmly behind it. I did not say PRESIDENT Donald J. Trump, because I was with him BEFORE he was President, and I will be with him AFTER he is President, on Earth and in Heaven itself.

Our friend Imperator Rex had a thread today on Quod Verum, where he states that Trump stepping down and letting a corrupt Biden presidency begin would be utter failure. I will agree that this scenario would be horrible, but I also realize that it would galvanize the forces of freedom in ways never seen on this planet – albeit at great cost and in a horrifying tumult.

But I would NEVER abandon Trump if he chose this rebirth of freedom in the fires of civil war. I regard it as an excellent strategy. Not the ONLY excellent strategy, but one of many excellent ones.

I am NOT SCARED of civil war.

Here’s why.

MOST of the people inside Congress do not deserve this artwork. Most of them are COWARDS, who denounce the PATRIOTS who actually stood up against a fraudulent election.

Now – I’m not saying I’m a hero. I’m a hillbilly – a kulak – a deplorable – who proudly “trespassed” on the sacred grounds of an edifice which is now the Bastille of Queen Nancy of Better Ice Creams.

I think I’m liable for $1000 and six months in jail – which to me is an incredible bargain for being part of actual history, hate me as many may for my role in it. Unlike Roger Stone, I’m immune to COVID-19 – a much nastier punishment by Nancy’s Chinese friends, so it’s not an automatic death sentence if I am imprisoned. Nevertheless, if I die in jail, I’m not only immortal in the spirit – I choose a FAR more iconic end than any in my family.

If I had to go to jail for anything, peacefully protesting against Nancy Pelosi and her legion of fraudsters and accomplices has got to be the BEST thing I could possibly go to jail for. I feel morally and spiritually completed by being such a scoundrel.

I’m not planning on turning myself in, because that relieves the recipient of the protest from the POINT of the protest – to force upon the system of justice, the full contemplation of the relative injustice of that which is being protested against, versus the lesser act of non-violent civil disobedience. THEY have to make an effort to make the arrest. They have a choice. It forces people to THINK about things.

The DOJ – and that would be the same DOJ which BOOED Trump marchers – can go after me, for trespassing, or they can go after Nancy Pelosi for framing us with violent actions by Antifa and BLM hooligans, or they can go after the people who stole this election, or they can go after the people who pulled the Russia Russia Russia hoax, or they can go after many other crimes which they intentionally and maliciously ignore.

Their choice. It’s BEAUTIFUL.

But that’s only the beginning of my point.

Who Had The Will To Fight
For Freedom.

I’m not seeing that in Congress.

I’m not seeing that in the GOP.

What I’m seeing is a lot of rationalization of corruption.

I’m seeing distraction and diversion and delay.

I’m seeing


Hey, baby, it is out of ALL of our comfort zones.


So what is the right thing?

Well, WE need to collectively discover it. I think listening to Trump, like people listened to George Washington, is a very good idea. But Trump’s not the only worthy man or woman to listen to. There’s a lot of good ones now. And there’s more all the time, thanks to Trump.

Don’t listen to hotheads, don’t listen to moaners, don’t listen to nervous Nellies, and don’t listen to the sunshine patriots.

Listen to the UNSHAKEABLES.

The idea of impeaching a man who is bringing back America as it was founded is a laughingstock. Anybody who goes along with it is either guilty or weak. We LAUGH OFF impeachment. It’s a BAD JOKE.

What we need now is STRENGTH. Strength of WILL. Strength of CHARACTER.

Strength of HONOR, DUTY, and ENDURANCE.

Strength of BELIEF. Strength of TRUST. Strength of FAITH.

What we do not need is FEAR. The other side knows that FEAR is their only real weapon now. So strike it down. Don’t put up with it. Help others out of it.

I do not know what Trump is going to do, and I don’t care what he chooses to do.


If you choose to make yours that strong, join me.


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that’s what the maoists are up to.


the train wreck…The Train (1964)

boots & saddles

derail it.



The thing about train wrecks, IRL, is the boiler explosions.

Everyone knows that water boils at 212 degrees (or 100 degrees C) at one atmosphere of pressure.

But locomotives need steam at higher pressure. One atmosphere won’t move a train because there’s already one atmosphere in the other side of the cylinder.

Typically trains want something more like 200-250 psi….and the boiling point of water is close to 400 degrees at that pressure. It should also be noted that the largest part of a locomotive is the boiler — it’s almost like the cab and cylinders are tacked-on for decoration.

When a train wrecks, the integrity of the boiler may be cracked. And, then, some steam escapes and the pressure lowers…..but the water inside is still 400 degrees and instantly flashes into steam. The escaping steam acts like a 400 degree hot knife at 250 psi on anything in front of it, and may open the breach further.

All this can happen in agonizing seconds, or in milliseconds. Some boiler explosions appear to turn the boiler effectively inside-out. Anyone unlucky enough to be caught near such a calamity may be sliced in half by the steam without ever contacting metal.

Steam brought on the Industrial Revolution because its power is very great and it is easy to do. Significant discipline must be observed in order to use it safely.


Horrific as that was, that was pretty much a kinetic impact between the train (at speed) and a rock wall. To tell you how overbuilt the boilers were, it said “you could hear the hiss of steam”.

The energy to pull a train up to that speed, move it several hundred miles, and possibly climb hills along the way was in that boiler. If the boiler had gone (and some did), it could have been much, much, much worse.


typo maybe ?

the maoists are calling for Heeling !

HEEL, dawg !!


“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
G.Orwell, 1984


Well said. I haven’t read Sydney Powell’s paper yet, but did download it. I was very glad to see it as I know it’s factual.


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I knew it! 👍 😁


If thats real its what i expect in CA….i cant tell you how thick w TRUMP supporters it was/is.


It that real? Not doctored? An actual oan screen shot?


You betcha, Wolf!

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Thank you, Wolf.

The Qtree is the place where we come to have our fears allayed and to be bolstered for the work ahead, regardless of who occupies the White House.

I love that I can come here and express my fears, but someone always has just the right thing to say to inspire and uplift.

God bless us all and keep us free.



“The other side knows that FEAR is their only real weapon now.”


And yet curiously, at least as it’s reported by many, it is the enemy who is exhibiting all the fear, while Trump and Pompeo and other members of the administration are perfectly cool, calm and collected.

If the enemy is winning, what are they so panicked about, that they need to attempt to remove Trump between now and January 20th?

Curiouser and curiouser… 😁


What’s more, most people — in their animal brains — can smell it.

Camel-uh not resigning, the media increasingly shrill, social media deplatforming, Pig-louse throwing meaningless impeachment at the wall…..all this reeks of desperation, not joyful victory.

Brave and Free

Thanks Wolf, many facets to any good organization / military. We here are but one piece of that. We have to continuously hold up our end that we signed onto when we said we’re backing PDJT. As you said “I do not know what Trump is going to do, and I don’t care what he chooses to do.” This doesn’t end with PDJT, it’s just beginning if we choose for it too. And that is what the commies fear the most, if we continue on with or without PDJT.


The whole world is watching.


And mike pompeo is laying down some serious accomplishments and FUTURE plans


“galvanize the forces of freedom”

I have seen packed GOP meetings (2 in the last 4 days).

President Trump and actual, literal, physical, “hot” civil war? I don’t think so … IDK … but I doubt it. He doesn’t seem inclined to do so just as he has operated strickly within the bounds of the US Constitution as he understands it concerning declass and bringing justice to the Dems (which sadly hasn’t happened and seems to be one of his regrets as he has mentioned on more than one occassion, re Sessions, DOJ actions and results, etc.)

I would follow him politically anywhere.


On the Trump Train, wherever Trump leads.

^^^ No caveats. ^^^


The integrity of our vote/elections is so important and a seemingly Huge failure of Pence to address when he was given that priority early in the administration.

Is this the key, foundational issue for which to fight, to address, going forward? (even while focusing on 2A, right to life, and so many other issues that we can not let slide while focusing on election integrity.)

If so, then how do other states address states with weak laws and blatant fraud? All avenues seem to have been shut down (courts) that I would have thought the obvious answer. What else?

Is federalizing federal elections the answer? My gut says No as those in control of the federal gov (and that is not, evidently, the elected Presidential administration thanks to deep stated/entrenched Dems) would then have total control.

Federalizing the federal elections ideally would make all have strong laws but might (probably?) instead make all states equally weak, reducing election integrity in states such as TN that have ID laws, etc.

What is the issue going forward to address this? I think perhaps election laws in fragile/fraud prone states because until that is addressed its all sort of pretend as we don’t actually have a voice and the elected officials know it


Chill. Pence is a Judas goat leading the dems and rinos over the cliff.
peacefull transition to his second administration. DONT get in the way of the pros who are going to sanction Antifa /BLM etc with extreme prejudice

Deplorable Patriot

Can’t like your post, but here’s the fresco at the top of the dome. Note Lady Freedom in the “bottom”. There’s a lot more there.
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excrutiatingly difficult to paint murals onto ceilings…and even more difficult onto domes..

note the perspective and forshortening techniques necessary there !

and the artist is within mere inches of the surface at all times…in order to “step back”, once in a while, to check the accuracy of everything, the artist must descend the mammoth scaffolding…and peer constantly UP at the work.

and then climb back UP the scaffolding to continue painting.

Deplorable Patriot

This is why the Sistine Chapel ceiling has far more characters in the panels Michelangelo painted first. When he was on the floor, he realized the images really could not be seen well. So, he made the figures bigger and put fewer in them.


I read that after Michelangelo spent 7 years on his back painting the ceiling,the Pope came in and complimented him on the painting but said he thought it needed a second coat.


And that fucker didn’t pay him!
michaelangelo said ,when he was in his eighties, that he learnt new stuff everyday


WOW, they must have diverted that revenue to support the work of Juan Valdez in Peru selecting just the right coffee beans for the starbuck’s of the day. (sarc)

Deplorable Patriot

The best way to look at that ceiling is flat on your back.

Both times I was in the Sistine Chapel I wanted a gurney for better viewing.


Joking aside, it really is one of the most magnificant inspired works of man. Would they mind if you simply laid down on your back? Can you take photos of it?

Gail Combs

No but I did anyway.  😄 

It was in the 1970s and flash was not allowed because it would damage the paintings. So I hand held the camera and used a long exposure. I actually got a lot of very good photos too.


Incredible. The pain and painstaking detail to boot.

Deplorable Patriot

I mean the like button isn’t working for me.


Wolf, I am a hillbilly, too. By birth, by ancestry, by raising, and in spirit.

Hillbillies survive. We persist. We bide.

But hillbillies also are very insular. We hide. There are enclaves of people up in the Appalachians for whom time has essentially stood still. They are the only place in the world where Scottish Highland music is the same as it was 300 years ago, unchanged.

So, in times of trouble, I do feel a deep urge to hide from the world, and let it pass on by me. I am struggling with that feeling now. I don’t live “off the grid,” but I could if I took the steps to do it. I certainly know how. I grew up that way. My best friend didn’t even have an indoor toilet until we were in the fifth grade! That was 1975.

I trust Trump. I believe he is doing his best for us. There is a small group at the top of this whole thing that is SILENT. They were put into place very shortly after the election, and they are GHOSTS right now. What are they doing? Packing up their desks, or plotting our salvation?

God helps those who help themselves has always seemed to me to be a prudent philosophy. Conservatives wield great power, we just need to band together and use it. We are the backbone of the country. My new questions going forward, if the leftists pull off their coup will be “who did you vote for in 2020, and do you think the election was legitimate?” The answers will determine whether I extend my hand in friendship and assistance, or whether I recoil and send them away. If it gets bad and you were all for it, you can take what it bought you without my helping you out of it. Hard lessons, you know. I’m not sharing the food produced by the sweat of my brow with traitors. I don’t think any of us should.

I am aware that Christians would say that is uncharitable of me, but my clannish Southern kin and my wild Scottish ancestors would beg to differ. I am adhering to their time-honored tradition in these terrible times. I am reverting to my roots.


Great post.

Including accountability for people’s actions.






Being a child of a very long line of hillbillies I fully understand and concur with your post, Aubergine as well as Wolf’s OP. The contrarian side of me that wants desperately to override my Christian charity is now ready to go Copperhead Road on them. The ability to do so is there. I also know the Lord does not want me to. It has not been a pleasant tug of war to endure. I will continue to pray for rightful and peaceful resolution in accordance with God’s will. However, if it is indeed time to head for the hills as Revelation states it will at some point – I will have no hesitation in doing so to protect those whom God has given me and directs me to protect until His return. I no longer desire to live in the same world that looks and smells like the scum who have attacked us. I know from whom their evil spirit comes, the Father of all Lies and his cohorts. I’ll take the final victory no matter how it comes and what I have to endure.


I do not think you are alone, at all.


Right there with you, Aubergine. If push comes to shove, we’re the ones that will survive. We’re the ones that worked for everything we have. We didn’t have it handed to us, no matter how incompetent we were. We’ll get through this one way or the other.


‘my wild Scottish ancestors’: Thanks for the clarification. I had been wondering if you were Welsh. No offence meant. It would have been one of the two.


My paternal grandfather lived in western Colorado. My dad and my uncle ended up in southern California and made two important trips back there in the early ’70s — the first to connect up a gas furnace (he’d previously burned coal), and the second to install indoor plumbing. Don’t forget the Irish.


The Irish won’t let anyone forget them — ever! 🙂

Erin go Bragh!


Lol! That’s awesome.


Have NO intention of bailing from the Trump Train.

However this plays out, President Trump has NOT failed.

Too many successes over the past four years to even consider, President Trump a failure.

Reality IS, the American government at ALL levels has failed.
– Failed America.
– Failed Americans.
– Failed President Trump.

Next Wednesday we’ll know IF the swamp truly stole the election.

President Trump did NOT lose the election.


Proudly on the Trump Train.


Stay safe wolf. Potus is going to group the anvil on their heads any time now. He has forced them all to drop their masks. Expecting Twitter jail as I asked Dan mc Crenshaw if he lost two other small round parts of his anatomy.
I still believe Potus has this.


He may be a Judas goat but he seems to be McCain II

Brave and Free

He’s hiding behind his patch like Mcstain hid behind his POW. More than likely being protected by DS already.


We’ ll all find out soon. The shampeachment was prob the last check of affiliation before kickoff. Remember EVERYBODY LEAVE THIS TO THE PROS. THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE TOFUCK WITH


Unless he’s a Judas goat. Imma thinking that the traitors have been led by their noses by some of our side


His are definitely titanium.



Thomas Wictor @ThomasWic
Remember how the military was spluttering about investigating the National Guard for having sympathy for the “insurrectionists”?
So hey, bring 20,000 of them to WASHINGTON DC and give them weapons with live ammunition!
That should tell you what’s going to happen on January 20.
This whole thing is very similar to Operation Bodyguard, the plan to fool the Germans into thinking we’d invade at Calais instead of Normandy.
And Patton was central to the ruse.


That’s because they were the anti-insurrectionists. The patriots.

The actual insurrectionists and sellouts were those in government.


Ukrainian identified.. More coming.

Sergei dybynyn is a Ukrainian nationalist pictured with fur dude, 
 Jake Angeli, at the Donetsk airport later destroyed by Russian forces.




Very wierd. All is not as it appears


ChristianPolitics @ChristianPolitics
1. Let’s talk about the 20,000 National Guard troops in Washington DC right now.
Hat tip to the legendary @ThomasWic for the article.
The MSM & Dems claim the National Guard is there to protect the Capitol from the “violent domestic terrorist” Trump supporters.
As with just about everything we hear from traditional media these days, I don’t buy it.
Here’s what I think:
Those 20,000 National Guard troops are there for TRUMP’s INAUGURATION.
Let me explain.

Caught On Video: National Guard Gearing Up With Rifles, Riot Shields At The Capitol
Planet Free Will



ChristianPolitics @ChristianPolitics
According to Presidential Executive Order 10030 signed by President Harry S. Truman in 1949, the National Guard Troops are under direct supervision of the Secretary of Defense.
1. The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to supervise and control, on behalf of the President and through such official or officials of the National Military Establishment as the said Secretary shall designate, the administration of the affairs of the District of Columbia National Guard.”



ChristianPolitics @ChristianPolitics
So what does that tell you?
The National Guard troops that are overrunning the Capitol right now, to the point that they have to sleep on the FLOOR inside the Capitol building, were ordered there by our current Secretary of Defense, Mr. Christopher C. Miller.
And who does he answer to?
That’s right.
President Donald. J. Trump.
If you haven’t done so already, check out Mr. Miller’s resume.
Quite impressive, but also, HIGHLY relevant to secret military operations.

Christopher C. Miller > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Biography



ChristianPolitics @ChristianPolitics
“Mr. Miller was responsible for overseeing the employment of special operations forces in counterterrorism, Military Information Support Operations (MISO), Information Operations, unconventional warfare, irregular warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, counter proliferation, sensitive special operations, and personnel recovery/hostage issues as specified by the Secretary of Defense.”


Sounds to me like the PERFECT candidate to be in charge of the National Guard troops as a secret military operation comes to fruition, after years of preparation and action.
I would guess that he had a key role in much of those operations.
I think Mr. Wictor is exactly right when he says that President Trump is preparing to assume office on January 20, and the National Guard is there to ensure a “smooth transition to a new administration.”


Oh Wolfs, thank you for mentioning me in this wonderful blog post. I was heart-sick for America over the injuries made by evil and our self-destructive mistakes. My little rebellions don’t show victories.

Your words touched a very deep place, and I began to mend in that moment. I’m regaining confidence and joy. I know God has me, here, and I am free to be with Donald Trump. I feel like I am set into this for the remaining portion of my life.

I know what is right, and now I can live much closer to those truths than I ever did before.
Count me in with you and your people, Wolf.


If it’s all over, you tell me why I’m seeing the most nighttime military air traffic of my life going between Vandenberg and Edwards, AND FORMATIONS flying to the Nevada National Security Site.

The defeatists never studied Trump, and they aren’t skywatchers.


Brian Cates @drawandstrike
Look at what Trump is asking his supporters to do in this video.
He’s asking his SUPPORTERS not to attack Democrats once he makes the big drop this week. He asking US to let the pros handle it.
He’s asking his supporters not to attack Democrats when Democrats go BAT SHIT INSANE AND RIOT IN THE STREETS when he drops whatever it is he’s gonna drop this week.
No matter WHAT HE REVEALS, he’s calling on all his real supporters to NOT GET VIOLENT.



Brian Cates @drawandstrike
Antifa, BLM, all the usual goons are gonna hit the streets in a last desperate attempt to stop him, they are counting on Trump supporters to get out there and FIGHT WITH THEM.
And Trump is already countering that strategy.
Any violence over this next seven days will NOT be from Trump supporters. We will do as he asks.



Brian Cates @drawandstrike
When Trump drops what he has and Democrats and the Swamp realize BIDEN ISN’T GOING TO BE SWORN IN, you think you saw RIOTING earlier this year?
You have no idea the amount of red hot RAGE these goons will feel watching a Biden presidency suddenly being VICIOUSLY RIPPED OUT OF THEIR HANDS.



Brian Cates @drawandstrike
Our President is telling us to stay out of it. We don’t NEED to grab our guns and rush out into the streets and try to tangle with these goons.
Listen to the man. Listen to what he’s asking of you.
Take him seriously.



Brian Cates @drawandstrike
When the HOTHEADS on our own side see what the Left does when they realize Trump isn’t leaving, how the rioting and street demonstrations, the looting, the burning start back up, they’re going to CALL FOR YOU TO GRAB YOUR GUN AND FOLLOW THEM INTO THE STREETS to find Antifa/BLM and slug it out with them.


Brian Cates
He is asking you to remain peaceful and non violent. He’s asking you to let the thousands of troops and thousands of LEO’s handle this.
Do the smart thing.


This is long but a pro look at the 6th. Don’t get sucked into a another false flag
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Covert Cadre: What I saw leading up to the US Capitol attackJanuary 13, 2021J. Michael Waller
The deadly riot at the US Capitol bore the markings of an organized operation planned well in advance of the January 6 joint session of Congress.
A small number of cadre used the cover of a huge rally to stage its attack. Before it began, I saw from my vantage point on the West Front of the Capitol, what appeared to be four separate cells or units:

  1. Plainclothes militants. Militant, aggressive men in Trump and MAGA gear at a front police line at the base of the temporary presidential inaugural platform;
  2. Agents-provocateurs. Scattered groups of men exhorting the marchers to gather closely and tightly toward the center of the outside of the Capitol building and prevent them from leaving;
  3. Fake Trump protesters. A few young men wearing Trump or MAGA hats backwards and who did not fit in with the rest of the crowd in terms of their actions and demeanor, whom I presumed to be Antifa or other leftist agitators; and
  4. Disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. A column of organized, disciplined men, wearing similar but not identical camouflage uniforms and black gear, some with helmets and GoPro cameras or wearing subdued Punisher skull patches.

All of these cells or groups stood out from the very large crowd by their behavior and overall demeanor. However, they did not all appear at the same time. Not until the very end did it become apparent there was a prearranged plan to storm the Capitol building, and to manipulalte the unsuspecting crowd as cover and as a follow-on force.
Eyewitness account, with no outside detailsThis article is a first-person, eyewitness account drafted the night of January 6 and morning of January 7, so it is not affected by other news coverage or information. The only research aids used in this article were photos and videos that I took from my phone. I have witnessed and participated in scores of protests since the 1970s, when as a high school student I was trained by professional agitators from California. Apart from my own professional background and experience, nothing in this article is derived from any third-party information or analysis.
In editing this for publication, I fought the temptation to add new information that I had subsequently learned from my own or from other people’s accounts. Other reports will vary and may contain contradicting information, and will contain far more facts than appear here. Many well-known actions and developments reported in the news do not appear here, as this is purely what I saw and understood between about 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6.
Capitol Police anti-riot unit prepared early, but presence was lightOriginally I had planned not to attend any of the several pro-Trump protest events scheduled for that day. At the last minute, a companion and I decided to see what we could see. Late that morning, at about 11:30, I walked from near Union Station to the Senate side of Capitol Hill on 2nd and D Streets NW and noticed a small number of Capitol Police dressed in full riot gear, with shin guards and shoulder guards. One carried a black baton with side handle. “That’s old school,” I called to the officer, giving him a thumbs-up. The police appeared to be readying to board a van or bus, though the Capitol was only 2-1/2 blocks away.
I crossed behind the Russell Senate Office Building to Constitution Avenue near the Capitol, past some out-of-towners who pointed at the Capitol and asked if it was the White House, then walked for about 25 minutes up Pennsylvania Avenue toward an empty Freedom Park.
A rally had just taken place there and moved to the Ellipse, the large lawn between the White House and Constitution Avenue NW. President Trump was speaking to a huge crowd at the Ellipse, though the Freedom Park rally had broken up to assemble at the Capitol before we arrived.
For such a massive event, police presence was light. District of Columbia police and a small group of DC National Guard had a relaxed demeanor, keeping a professional distance from marchers and other pedestrians as they usually do. A few police and National Guard gathered in around a mobile device to listen to the president make what sounded like rousing comments.
Crowd was energized and festive, not angry or incitedA while later we saw from a block away that marchers had begun down Constitution Avenue from the Ellipse to Capitol Hill, mostly along Constitution Avenue. We passed down 13th Street to join them. Although the march was in protest of electoral fraud in the 2020 election and people were recounting the president’s energizing speech, the mood of the crowd was positive and festive. Strangers stopped to talk to one another along the way, resist but ultimately give in to offers from street vendors hawking Trump and MAGA memorabilia, or to take pictures of the Washington landmarks.
Some along the way talked enthusiastically about President Trump joining them on Capitol Hill, as if he had said something about it in his Ellipse speech. I didn’t want to pop their balloon by saying that he undoubtedly would not. There was an expectation in the air that he would be there.
Of the thousands of people I passed or who passed me along Constitution Avenue, some were indignant and contemptuous of Congress, but not one appeared angry or incited to riot. Many of the marchers were families with small children; many were elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail – traits not typically attributed to the riot-prone. Some said they were police officers from around the country. Many wore pro-police shirts or carried pro-police “Back the Blue” flags.
Diverse cross-section of AmericaAmong the hundreds and hundreds of flags – perhaps thousands – displayed over the next few hours, I saw only two Confederate battle flags and one white supremacist sign, the latter of which some suspected aloud was a leftist plant. The two flags and one sign, I thought, would feature prominently in news media reports to present a false image of the nature of the crowd.
A large group of African-American men sported shirts that said “Blacks for Trump.” Figuring that journalists would emphasize the solitary racist sign and Confederate flags, deliberately ignoring the rest, I took note of the fact that many demonstrators were black, Asian, and Latino, with a strong presence of Vietnamese- and Chinese-Americans.
Respect for the city and streetsThe DC government had placed only one portable toilet along the 16-block Constitution Avenue route, and five more near the intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue near the Canadian Embassy. The federal government opened the Ronald Reagan Building so people could use the bathrooms.
The city had provided few trash bins. (DC usually provides a large number of toilets and trash receptacles along march routes.) Yet remarkably little litter could be seen in the streets. People crushed their plastic water bottles and food wrappers and stuffed them in their pockets, and a few marchers picked up the occasional trash along the route.
Observations about the toilets and trash are noteworthy because, in my experience with and among large protest crowds in Washington, the large leftist crowds tend to be angry and leave trash in the streets and urine in the shrubs.
None of that anger showed in the January 6 crowd along Constitution Avenue.
The exceptions: Organized cadreAlthough the crowd represented a broad cross-section of Americans – mostly working class by their appearance and manner of speech (the Deplorables from Flyover Country, as an old politician once called them) – some people stood out.
A very few didn’t share the jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor of the great majority. Some obviously didn’t fit in. Among them were younger twentysomethings wearing new Trump or MAGA hats, often with the visor in the back, showing no enthusiasm and either looking at the ground, or glowering, or holding out their phones with outstretched arms to make videos of as many faces as possible in the crowd. Some appeared awkward, the way someone’s body language inadvertently shows the world that he feel like he doesn’t fit in. A few seemed to be nursing a deep, churning rage.
They generally covered their faces with cloth masks, as opposed to the pro-Trump people, few of whom wore masks at all. They walked, often hands in pockets, in clusters of perhaps four to six with at least one of them frequently looking behind. These outliers group looked like trouble. I presumed that these fake Trump protesterswere Antifa or something similar. However, that entire afternoon I saw none of them act aggressively or cause any problems. At least, not from my vantage point.
A second outlier group also stood out. While many marchers wore military camouflage shirts, jackets, or pants of various patterns and states of wear and in all shapes and sizes, here and there one would see people of a different type: Wiry young men in good physical condition dressed neatly in what looked like newer camouflage uniforms with black gear, subdued patches including Punisher skulls, and helmets.
They showed tidiness and discipline. They strode instead of walked, moving at a more rapid pace than most of the people, sometimes breaking into a short jog, and generally keeping to the left side of Constitution Avenue in pairs of two or small groups of three. Unlike others in old military clothes who tended to be affable and talkative, these sullen men seemed not to speak to anyone at all. As we would see, they were the disciplined, uniformed column of attackers.
Entering the US Capitol groundsWe walked about three blocks behind the front of the march to the Capitol, with perhaps two or three thousand people ahead of us. The DC Metropolitan police were their usual professionally detached selves, standing on curbs or at street crossings and exchanging an occasional greeting from marchers, but treating the event as routine and at the lowest threat level.
When we crossed First Street NW to enter the Capitol grounds where the Capitol Police had jurisdiction, I noticed no police at all. Several marchers expressed surprise. Passing by a few days earlier, I had noticed that, with presidential inaugural platform construction underway, the Capitol’s West Front lawn had been blocked off with plastic. On this day, there was no barrier blocking the paved footpath with its high granite curbs on either side leading up the Senate side of the hill. The openness seemed like a courtesy gesture from Congress, which controlled security.
But that appearance of low threat level made no sense. American flags flew over the Senate and House chambers, indicating that each house of Congress was in session. Vice President Mike Pence was supposed to be there to certify the electoral votes. For better or worse, this was a historic day in Congress. Yet no Capitol Police appeared anywhere from what we could see, and I commented on to my companion that it was very strange for there to be no police during a joint session of Congress – with or without a gigantic crowd.
At a low point of ground, we crossed on top of what looked like a length of black aluminum fencing that had been placed flat over a wet area of mud or dead leaves in the walkway. It was the only thing out of place in what was becoming a funnel of people marching in from the broad merger of the six-lane Constitution Avenue and four-lane Pennsylvania Avenue and a Senate staff parking lot and park to the footpath. What looked like tens or even hundreds of thousands of people surged down the avenues as far as one could see.
At the West Front of the Capitol: Spirited disorderThe marchers became denser as greater numbers of people funneled into the paved footpath going up Capitol Hill, but almost everyone seemed talkative and happy. The path was interrupted by a few steps and a handrail in the middle, going on until a second set of steps ended at a plaza at the Capitol’s crypt level.
The first thing we saw was the temporary news media tower built for cameras to transmit the upcoming presidential inauguration. As if at a party, some younger Trump supporters had climbed the tower and waved American and political flags. The tower stood before the painted wooden inaugural stand itself, with its VIP section above the balcony-like protrusion where Joe Biden would be sworn in as president. Windbreaks or something similar, made of metal scaffolding and covered with a façade of white cloth or plastic sheeting, rose above the north and south ends of the platform. No police could be seen on the platform for now.
No police could be seen anywhere.
People kept surging in from Constitution Avenue and the plaza quickly filled up and overflowed onto the lawn. Everyone squeezed closer and closer together, with most in high spirits. Some trouble began up in the front, near the base of the inaugural platform itself, but we could not see what was happening.
Many of us looked on our phones for texts or Twitter messages to find out what was happening, but there was no functioning wireless service; too many people with phones in too small an area overloaded the cell phone transmission facilities.
The Capitol PoliceThe United States Capitol Police recruit a special kind of professional. They are sworn to defend one of the most important building complexes in the country, the US Capitol and its sprawling congressional office buildings. More importantly, their mission is to defend one of the three coequal branches of the federal government, literally upholding the Constitution. Every day they deal with thousands of tourists and visitors from around the country and the world. They have to be serious with their mission, but constantly show patience with the often frustrating and even annoying throngs of ordinary visitors and those with inflated egos who consider themselves Very Important People.
Normally, the Capitol Police are excellent at communicating with crowds. Not today.
A contingent of perhaps thirty to fifty Capitol Police emerged at the top of the inaugural platform above the VIP section and worked their way down to the spot where Biden would take his oath of office. It was after 1:17, according to my camera. They were armed with paintball-type long guns that fired capsules of pepper irritant, teargas launchers, and long guns that I could not identify from my position. Something was happening on the plaza level below them, but we couldn’t see.
To our left on the Senate side, a scuffle had already broken out but we were so packed so tightly that we couldn’t see or hear. The biggest feature was the imposing edifice of the Capitol itself, the party-like guys up on the camera tower, and the endless crowd of people flowing in with colorful flags – American, MAGA, South Vietnamese, even one from Kazakhstan. Many eyes were on the Capitol police in their black tactical gear, bright yellow-green safety vests, and weapons.
Some out-of-towners wondered why the police were there when they were all pro-police and no Antifa were present. Others said that they did see Antifa wearing backward MAGA hats, so the police must have been waiting for them. I quietly wondered why so few police were present for a crowd this or any size.
Confusion as police fire tear gas at their supportersThen something happened at the front of the crowd, as if a champagne cork popped to release pent-up human energy. It seemed like a scuffle, but from forty feet back, I couldn’t see. People started chanting “USA, USA,” and other slogans. Some burst with streams of profanity about Biden, Pelosi, and “the steal.” For a few seconds I saw what looked like police in a tussle with some of the marchers up front – what appeared to be an organized group in civilian clothes.
This organized group are the cell I call the “plainclothes militants.” They fit right in with the MAGA people.
Suddenly energy surged from the front of the crowd as the anti-riot police, above on the inaugural platform, visibly tensed up. Some sighted their pepper ball weapons toward the densely packed people. One fired a teargas canister – not at the plainclothes militants at the front line, but into the crowd itself. Then another. Flash grenades went off in the middle of the crowd.
I had seen anti-riot police in action before. They moved with a decisive sense of purpose. Now, the Capitol Police crew seemed confused, as if without a leader or perhaps inadequate rules of engagement. These real professionals seemed directionless. Some clambered up and down the inaugural platform steps. Others milled back and forth at the swearing-in level. Most of the police ended up leaving the surreal scene. Nobody could tell why.
Pro-police people felt like they were being attackedNo bullhorn or sound system could be heard for the police to communicate with the swelling mass of people.
The tear gas changed the crowd’s demeanor. There was an air of disbelief as people realized that the police whom they supported were firing on them. “What are you doing to us – we support you,” someone yelled. Tear gas wafted through the crowd, a low-grade irritant, fortunately, as if to send a warning to disperse. But nobody could disperse; some tried to leave the area, but more kept flowing in from Constitution Avenue, making evacuation impossible.
All of a sudden, pro-police people felt that the police were attacking them, and they didn’t know why. Instead of running away, the people stood their ground. Something seemed to break loose a second time toward the front, but we couldn’t tell what it was. Younger members of the crowd climbed the scaffolding inside the north façade of the inaugural platform and waved flags from the top. The crowd cheered.
More tear gas. A canister struck a girl in the face, drawing blood. The pro-police crowd went from disbelief and confusion to anger. A few dozen members of the crowd, mostly young men, raced up a narrow path on the stone steps behind the façade and a limestone wall, facing a few police at the top who tried to stop them.
The police disappeared and a crowd surged up the stairs to the plaza at the Senate entry level. People inside the façade tore through to wave flags. As another canister of tear gas went off, a few people started pushing against the current of incoming marchers to leave the area.
Provocateurs show someone planned to turn unsuspecting marchers into an invading mobThen, a loud, bellowing shout from behind: “Forward! Do not retreat! Forward!”
Retreat? Nobody was retreating. They were trying to escape the tear gas. But the man kept yelling not to “retreat,” as if this were a military operation. In a powerful voice he exhorted the crowd to remain on the plaza and not to disperse on the lawn or depart down the steps to the footpath. Thousands more people continued pouring in from Constitution Avenue.
Then two other men, standing across from one another on the high granite curbs on either side of the footpath, bellowed variations of, “Forward! Don’t you dare retreat!” Some made direct eye contact at people and pointed directly at them, as if trying to psyche them to submit.
Still more tear gas, this time with green or yellow smoke. I was concerned that my companion, who was recovering from a previously injured foot, might get knocked down if the people started to stampede for air. Once someone falls down in a panicked crowd, there’s a dangerous risk of getting trampled to death. I opened the way for others to exit, with other marchers lending a hand. But most of the people stood where they were as more marchers flowed up Capitol Hill.
A third man standing on a chair, also shouting “Forward,” reached down to grab me by the shoulder and barked, “Don’t retreat! Get back up there!” It wasn’t an expression of enthusiasm or solidarity; it sounded like a military order. And it wasn’t from a wild kid; this guy was probably in his 50s. He looked furious with me.
What did he care what I did? What difference would the departure of ten or even a hundred of us make, with so many more surging in. The furious man crouched down and yelled in my face: “We’re going into the Capitol!” I ignored him, broke away, and worked my way down the steps.
“What a stupid idiot,” I thought. “You can’t just walk into the Capitol anymore. Especially not today.” Bystanders helped my companion and me mount the high stone curb to the grass, where we chatted with new people we met and wondered what was happening up front.
What the barking men were doing didn’t hit me later when we found out about the attack: They appeared to be part of an organized cell of agents-provocateurs to corral people as an unwitting follow-on force behind the plainclothes militantstussling with police – but who, we would later learn, were actually breaking into the Capitol beneath the Great Rotunda to storm Congress. It was just before 3 o’clock.
These agents-provocateurs placed hundreds of unsuspecting supporters of the president in physical danger. They attempted to block exits for people seeking to escape tear gas. They endangered vulnerable people, including children, the frail, and the elderly, They funneled and pushed hundreds if not thousands of innocent people into a crush toward the Capitol. They did so with the goal of forcing those people into a confrontation with federal police defending Congress.
Surreal pandemoniumNobody seemed aware that the Capitol was physically under attack. The tear gas caused pandemonium. But there was still no stampede, and people helped create or widen paths to allow others to leave the area. Some, seeing frail or elderly people who had a hard time standing, broke into a pallet of black folding chairs for the inauguration and distributed them. But the mood had gone from patriotic – though contemptuous of Congress – to furious.
Rumors spread. “They say they’re going into the Congress,” someone said.
“Good,” someone else said, though more as an exclamation of anger at being teargassed than anything else.
“That’s stupid. Cops will never let ‘em in,” said others, or in words to that effect.
Some blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ordering the police to gas her political opponents, then wondered aloud whether she really could do that. Somebody was able to get phone reception to ask if anybody knew what was happening, but couldn’t hear because of the crowd. Texting and social media posting was almost nonexistent because of overloaded towers.
Having spent decades around the Capitol since my days as a junior Senate and House staffer, and loving the building and its history as one of our greatest national treasures, I was confident that the Capitol would remain safe. But the lack of perimeter police presence, and the confused actions of those firing tear gas, flash grenades, and pepper balls from the presidential swearing-in platform, had me thinking that something was wrong at the command level. What if someone did break into the Capitol? Not possible.
From out there on the lawn, a breakdown in police command and control was unthinkable.
By now, where we were on the Senate lawn, the mood was more like an outdoor rock concert gone out of control. Someone with a master key took control of a green cherry-picker, raising two people on the crane who took pictures and waved. Others kept people back to prevent injuries. Conscientious people looked out for the unaware or foolish. Several young people scaled the basement wall of the Senate to join people who had taken the steps to the top.
For the first time we saw a group of journalists with their cameras, computers, and transmitting gear. A few Capitol Police milled around, some winded as if they had seen action.
Uniformed, disciplined cadre assembles for attackThen, from the north, a column of uniformed, agile younger men walked briskly, single-file, toward the inaugural stand. They came within two feet of me. The camouflage uniforms were clean, neat, and with a pattern I couldn’t identify. Some had helmets and GoPro cameras. Some uniforms bore subdued insignia, including the Punisher skull. These were the disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. I had seen them in groups of two or three among the marchers on Connecticut Avenue from the Ellipse.
Now there were a good three dozen of them, moving in a single, snakelike formation. They were organized. They were disciplined. They were prepared.
“We’re taking the Capitol!” the first or second announced.
“You’re gonna get arrested,” someone called out.
“They can arrest some of us, but not all of us,” another member of the uniformed contingent shouted to no one in particular.
A few curious younger people left their friends to follow them as the group disappeared undner the scaffolding beneath the Rotunda entrance.
Some in the crowd expressed frustrated hope that the uniformed men could teach Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a lesson, but nobody seemed to believe that they would actually do it.
I tried to text a friend to report what was happening. The jammed cell phone system made it impossible.
Spectacle of the weird on the East FrontA small group of us exited toward Constitution Avenue, north of the Senate Wing. Someone said they had seen a person inside a second-floor window holding a “Stop the Steal” sign.
“They got into the House and Senate,” someone told us. “It’s crazy.”
A circus awaited us on the East Front of the Senate Wing. At the foot of the Senate steps, a victorious-looking crowd stood there, hanging around. A semi-naked man in what looked like a fur caveman outfit, with a Braveheart-painted face and Viking horns, struck a weirdly heroic pose as people took pictures.
The crowd there was different. People were talking about how the Capitol had been invaded. A rumor spread that “the cops shot and killed a woman inside.” The rumors were true.
We wanted to stay but decided against it. As we passed by the fountain that formed the glass roof of the visitors’ center below, several dozen Capitol Police, wearing anti-riot body armor and holding transparent shields, accompanied by what looked like DC anti-riot police and about a dozen DC National Guardsmen, walked past us in irregular formation, heading toward the Capitol Building.
Some seemed winded, as if they had been in an incident, perhaps where we had been on the other side of the Senate. One officer stayed behind to help a brother policeman who seemed to have trouble walking; a mask obscured his face but his skin looked swollen and red. He kept on walking.
We didn’t know what to say or do. It didn’t seem real, but it was. The time was 3:32 PM.
We went home in silence.
Post scriptAs said in the introduction, this article is purely my eyewitness account from notes taken the evening of January 6 and morning of January 7. They are not tainted by any news or information from outside sources, so they do not contain many details that are public.
Hat tip to my old friend S. Steven “Scott” Powell, author of “Covert Cadre,” which inspired the headline.


Another witness describing very suspicious activities and individuals